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  • Are government announcements in line with Macron's program?

    Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe meeting at the Elysee, July 13, 2017. Julien de Rosa, AFP

     After weeks of controversy over communalism and secularism, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe unveiled at the beginning of November about twenty measures on immigration.  Are these announcements, which are supposed to combine "humanity" and "fight against fraud", in line with the promises of candidate Macron?

     Quotas.  The government wishes to introduce quotas for professional immigration to alleviate recruitment problems in the trades in tension, such as drivers, cooks or nurses - extending an already existing system, in a lighter form, since 2008 and the presidency of  Sarkozy.

     During his campaign, candidate Macron had warned that he wanted to "better define the needs for economic immigration."  However, he said he would not go so far as to set quotas by trades.  In addition, the simplification of access to the labor market for foreign students holding a master's degree  announced during the campaign does not appear to be on the government's agenda.

     Passport talents.  In the same logic of "chosen" immigration, the government wants to increase the number of "talent passports" - multi-year residence permits for skilled workers, researchers and artists - and simplify the procedure for issuing work permits.  Two direct translations of Emmanuel Macron's program .

     Repression.  During his campaign, Emmanuel Macron promised that people who did not obtain refugee status would be "deported without delay to their country so that they do not become illegal immigrants" .  Several measures announced by Edouard Philippe go in this direction:

     Three new administrative detention centers will be opened for undocumented foreigners being deported to Lyon, Olivet (Loiret) and Bordeaux.  Increasing controls are a priority in the fight against fraud and abuse.

     To fight against "overstaying" (when foreigners stay beyond the expiration of their visa), the government will set up a registration system of entries and exits by 2022.

     The rules of litigation regarding illegal residence will be simplified, with the probable aim of facilitating the deportations to the border.

     The government has asked the prefects to increase the return of failed asylum seekers to the border.

     Official development assistance.  In order to encourage migrants to stay in their country and to fight against smugglers, the government is aiming for an increase in official development assistance, which should represent 0.55% of gross national product in 2022. This ambition is, however,  - below the program of Emmanuel Macron, which provided 0.7% .

     The government also wants to make development aid contingent on the migration commitments of the recipient countries, as Emmanuel Macron already foresaw in 2017 il: he defends the idea of ​​reserving 10% of European development funds for  projects directly related to the management of migratory flows ", and calls for firm commitments in this area from the ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) in the future cooperation agreement with the European Union.

     Integration.  The candidate Macron wanted to make French the main criterion for access to French nationality .  His prime minister has decided to go in this direction, by raising the requirements of mastering the French language (from B1 oral to B1 oral and written).

     Health.  One of the flagship measures announced on 6 November by Edouard Philippe is the hardening of access to care for foreigners: asylum seekers will be subject to a waiting period of three months before accessing the insurance  disease, while conditions for access to state medical aid (AME) will be complicated, to discourage "medical tourism".  So many measures that did not appear in the promises of the candidate Macron.

     Yiqing Qi

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